Firefox adds 3D gaming and video calling support in latest update

Unreal Engine 3 Firefox
Previously Mozilla showed off Unreal Engine 3 running natively in Firefox

Mozilla updated its Firefox browser today with full Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) and new JavaScript capabilities, adding support for "rich activities" like video calls and online games.

Mozilla has been working on integrating the WebRTC protocol, which eliminates the need for separate browser plug-ins to enable those rich functions, for some time.

And asm.js, the new JavaScript protocol, is "a supercharged subset of JavaScript" that loads quickly and enables Firefox (No. 22) to run intense applications such as games and photo-processing in real-time without the need for plug-ins.

It's all part of Mozilla's plan to "unlock the power of the web."

Firefox 22 is rich, rich I tell you!

WebRTC enables web apps to support video calls, voice calls and file sharing without any additional software or third-party plugins, Mozilla wrote today in a blog post.

It works across mobile and desktop browsers, according to the company.

"Rich activities like games and video calls were some of the last remaining challenges to prove that the Web is a capable and powerful platform for complex tasks," Mozilla wrote. "We conquered these challenges as part of Mozilla's mission to advance the Web as the platform for openness, innovation and opportunity for all."

With WebRTC in particular the company hopes to "improve interoperability and end fragmentation" across the web.

"With Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC), it's easy to integrate these features into Web apps with just a few lines of code so developers can create more rich and interactive websites for people to experience across browsers," it continued.

Gaming goes native

Firefox's JavaScript advancements have been in the works for some time as well.

Mozilla was showing the optimized JavaScript engine off in March in collaboration with Epic Games, creators of the pervasive Unreal Engine for video game development.

At the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, the companies showed off Unreal Engine 3 applications running natively in Firefox using JavaScript.

You can even try out a game prototype called Banana Bread running natively in your browser today - just watch out if you're not running FireFox or if you have an older machine, because it may start to chug.

With today's update, those capabilities and more are officially inside Firefox and the doors are open for developers to have their way with it.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.